I never did round to reviewing the Tony Blair book. It was a quite astonishing tome. Obviously a great deal has been written about his anger and betrayal by Gordon Brown and how his heir screwed up the legacy and bottled the big decisions on public sector reform. But there is someone who gets off pretty lightly and got hardly any scrutiny: David Cameron.
Interviewed by Andrew Marr he even said he didn't want to make the Prime Minister's job any harder, as he knew what it was like. I was reminded of this observation when the Spectator ran a cover story The Cult of Blair that the inner circle of Cameron acolytes see themselves as the true heirs to Blair.
Cameron's wise words on multiculturalism yesterday could well have come from Blair, such as this, here.
Personally, I think this is very sensible and brave: "In the UK , some young men find it hard to identify with the traditional Islam practiced at home by their parents, whose customs can seem staid when transplanted to modern Western countries. But these young men also find it hard to identify with Britain too, because we have allowed the weakening of our collective identity. Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values."
There is a view, expressed in the Observer today that says he was wrong to say that on the day the EDL were marching in Luton. Rubbish. The whole reason a shoddy street movement like the EDL has gained traction is precisely because mainstream politics has ignored an issue at the heart of modern life. This won't embolden them, it will take the issue from them. That won't happen overnight, but it's long overdue.